Today we arrived in Reykjavik Iceland after sailing 3777.1 nautical miles from Southampton. We are staying onboard overnight, so need to rush around and pack just yet.
The tour I am on is the longest of the cruise, 8 and half hours checking out what is call the Golden Circle.
Golden Circle Tour
Experience the thrill of visiting Reykjavik’s “Big Three” scenic wonders – Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area and Thingvellir National Park – all on one excursion.
Arrayed along a route known as the Golden Circle, this trio pretty much single handedly fills the bucket list of Icelandic natural phenomena.
Rolling along via comfortable panoramic coach, you’ll encounter vast lava fields, a greenhouse community warmed by hot springs and fertile South Iceland farmland – and that’s just en route to your first stop of the day.
Two-tiered Gullfoss Waterfall is one of Iceland’s most beautiful and iconic sights, its vast water volume plummeting down over 100 feet into a river gorge.
It’s a tough act to follow, but the hyperactive star geyser at aptly-named Geysir Geothermal Area spouting off 65-foot jets of boiling hot water every few minutes might just do the trick. You’ll see other geysers here too, though the granddaddy of them all, Geysir itself, has been resting of late.
Appetite sated after a buffet meal at a local restaurant, you’ll make your way to UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, a dramatic rift valley where the Earth’s North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet – and where the Icelandic parliament first met over a 1,000 years ago.
The Country Side
During our drive out and back to the sites our guide mentioned how horses bread in Icelandic are known for their stamina and ability to handle rough conditions. He also advised that when a horse leaves Iceland, it can never return. Iceland seems to have similar bio-security laws to Australia.
Our second stop, the first was a shopping mall / tourist trap, was Gullfoss Waterfall.
Definitely a place to check out, would have been nicer to have another 30 minutes or so, and a camera that is water-resistant, so that I could have checked out the place a bit more.
Geysir Geothermal Area
Our next stop was even more impressive, Geysir Geothermal Area. There are a number of active geysers with the big one (call Geysir) being the the start of the show. Every few minutes or so there is an eruption of steam and water, pretty impressive.
Everywhere we went around the area there were signs telling people, as well as the tour guides, to not touch the water as it is HOT…. Still saw a couple who did, they were lucky as it was only warm where they were, a couple a meters away and there were signs advising that the temp was 100 C. Prospective Darwin Award winners I think.
Lunch was in the Geysir Centre restaurant, fairly simple and hit the spot.
Thingvellir National Park
Next up was the chance to see both the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This was very impressive. How the locals have set this up is also impressive. Most people can walk down the well maintained path between the two plates. The left as you walk down is North America, the right Eurasia. The two plates mover a part by about 7–14 mm (0.28–0.55 in)/year.
Some of the local wildlife
The area around the tectonic plates is picturesque, just like a lot of Iceland
Before heading back to the ship we were lucky enough to have an extra stop added to the tour. Perlan, or the Pearl, which is a museum and planetarium with a great 3600 view of Reykjavik.
I am not sure of the exhibits within the Pearl, the view is worth stop by itself.
Time to head back to the Ship for our last night on-board..
As every Chartreuse meal has been excellent, there was no better place for us to dine on the last night. Tonight’s would be no exception.
Caviar and steak tartare…. as tasty as always..
Rack of Lamb… It tasted better than it looks!
2010 Testamatta, Toscana, Italy, 100% Sangiovese
|Appearance:||Youthful deep crimson|
|Nose:||An enjoyable combination of cherry, black pepper and cedar aromas|
|Palate:||Smooth and medium bodied palate with savoury tannins|
|Finish:||Medium to long finish with a residual sweetness|
|Oz’s Wine Rating:||4 out of 5|
A great wine for a great night and fitting to end the cruise with
2013 Stone Eagle Estate Reserve, VQA Niagara River, Ontario, Canada, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot
|Nose:||Powerful mix of fruit, black current and smokey aromas. |
Probably the biggest wine of the trip
|Palate:||Balanced with evolving firm tannins|
|Finish:||Medium long, slightly sour aftertaste|
|Oz’s Wine Rating:||3 out of 5|
This needs more time and probably decanting a significant time before drinking
Whilst I did not see too much of Reykjavik today, what I did see whetted the appetite for more… Looking forward to the next couple of days…
The Golden Circle tour is a long one, though definitely worth it as going out to see each of the sites one at a time would take 3 days.
The Icelandic country side is a lot more picturesque than I was expecting, I expect it is more “desolate” looking further north.
2 thoughts on “Day 14 – Reykjavik Iceland”
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. We saw all these in 2018.
I would like to head back and have more time to explore each site, though might have seen enough of the Geysir.. Glad to bring back some memories